Online businesses have become a staple in the current global business economy. The content that these business owners publish requires consistent revision and proofreading. There are many online editors, but the two most common are Grammarly vs Hemingway.
Which is the better editor for online business, and which one is more beneficial for which type of company? What is the cost involved in each one of these editors, and is it worth the price tag?
This article discusses these two editors—which is more reliable, cost-effective, and practical for online businesses?
What is Hemingway?
When we speak of Hemingway, we are not referring to the American novelist Ernest Hemingway. We refer to the Hemingway editorial app, which is an app that helps correct grammar and sentence structure flaws. Hemingway highlights incorrect placements of punctuation and wrong verb tense.
Hemingway allows you to copy and paste your work into its user interface; it displays all the flaws in the pasted work. Once the program finds each flaw in the text, it categorizes it into different sections, allowing you to focus on flawed areas.
Hemingway takes it one step further, and color coordinates the categories so that you can see the flaws in your written work. Each color represents a different aspect of writing and is broken down as follows:
This section focuses on adverbs and calculates their strength; if Hemingway deems your choice of word as weak, it will highlight the word in the editor and let you know that there is a better word choice that you can use.
Passive voice is represented by green in the Hemingway app. The app focuses on the passiveness in your word description and highlights sections that it thinks are too passive by suggesting more descriptive and active voice words.
This represents simplicity in written content, meaning that it will show you that certain parts of your work are overly complex; and that there is a more straightforward way to say what you are trying to convey. It shows you what needs to be simplified in your work.
This color shows you that the highlighted sections or sentences of your work are too difficult to read and that it would be better to structure the sentences differently.
Red indicates that your sentences are difficult to read and that your audience may not grasp the concept or idea. It is more serious than the yellow highlighted sections and requires immediate attention.
Another function that Hemingway offers is that it identifies the level at which people will comprehend your work. In this case, it uses a grading system and ranks it based on the reading level of a high school student. Hemingway then recommends that you keep it in a specific grade area for a wider audience.
Another minor feature of Hemingway is a word count, the number of sentences, characters, letters, and paragraphs while also calculating the average time it will take for your audience to read it. This is incorporated into the app’s user interface.
Hemingway Editor is free to use like most online editorial apps, but it is heavily restricted, incentivizing the user to upgrade. As it stands, Hemingway's App is a one-off of $19.99. This gives you access to the more comprehensive desktop app.
Pros and Cons of Hemingway
- Easy to use for newcomers
- Once off payment
- Shows the estimated reading level of your audience
- Handles comma splices and run-on sentences very well
- Has a finely tuned passive voice detector
- Supports Windows and Mac functionality
- Price is low for an extra pair of eyes to assist in writing.
- Lacks the knowledge to differentiate between good and bad writing, in the sense that an academic writer or scholar would be graded poorly according to the scores of Hemingway Editor
- May affect writers that are “wordy writers” as a stylistic choice
- Requires you to purchase the program before you can use its desktop app.
- The program seems to dislike adverbs and recommends changing them or removing them, resulting in less descriptive work.
What is Grammarly?
Grammarly was founded in 2009, and it's an American-based software company initially established in Ukraine; its headquarters is now located in San Francisco. It is a program that detects spelling, punctuation, and other common defects in text.
Grammarly offers a vast array of features that cover the overall presentation of text and its portrayal to the audience.
First, let's start with integration and how the software is easily connected with the programs you use. As well as an online presence through emails and even functionality in the YouTube comment sections, recently Grammarly has added a Microsoft Word doc add-on that allows you to use Grammarly inside Microsoft Word while working.
Now let's move onto the goals tab. When you set up your document, you start a new document that Grammarly will save as a draft for future reference.
As soon as the text is pasted into Grammarly, a goals tab pops up. The goals tab is Grammarly’s way of asking you what you want to convey with this current project. The goals tab is broken down into 5 different goals:
There are three options to choose from:
- General covers an audience that requires minimal effort to read the text.
- Knowledgeable requires the audience to focus while reading to understand what you are trying to convey in your text
- Expert requires your audience to reread your work to understand the message you are trying to get across.
- There are three options to choose from:
- Informal allows the use of loose slang in your text.
- Neutral restricts the use of slang but allows for casual references and expressions.
- Formal rejects any use of slang and any form of colloquialisms.
Domain (Premium Feature)
There are six options to choose from:
- Academic focuses more on the format an academic would need, such as MLA formats for college-level writing
- Business focuses on a more expert level of writing that tends to be more formal than most writing features
- General focuses on the average knowledge and reading skill of the people in the world; this tends to be more on the neutral side of writing
- Email—Direct and concise writing allows people to get to the point
- Casual is more on the informal side of writing, allowing for more slang
- Creative writing covers a particular type of writing that allows you to bend standard English writing style rules.
This section has 8 different choices that offer the user an idea of how they want to portray their content. You can choose more than one tone, and by doing so, Grammarly will give you suggestions that will follow the direction of the tone you have requested.
This is particularly important because the tone is how readers interpret the mood of a particular piece of text. The tones that Grammarly offer are:
This is an experimental goal that Grammarly is working on. The idea behind it is to give your intent to the program and assist you or guide you in achieving your goal. The options for intent are:
- To inform
- To describe
- To convince
- To tell a story
Once the goals have been selected, you have a user interface with the text presented to you straight off the bat. Categories are on the right-hand side of the screen. These categories offer different kinds of information to improve the text.
- Correctness focuses on spelling and punctuation errors, like the wrong placement of commas or incorrect verb tense
- Clarity—Grammarly reads through your work and identifies whether or not it is clear and concise. This area informs you that the text has a clear direction
- Engagement turns to the goals you have selected and informs you if your content is engaging enough for the targeted audience
- Delivery also ties to the goals section and tells you if your delivery is in line with your target audience
- The Premium section tells you that there are additional problems; when you click on the category, it will highlight the areas and show you that these sections have issues. They will also go one step further and give you a list of all the incorrect things. The catch is that it won't tell you which highlighted area belongs to which error.
Grammarly works on a subscription-based plan which is targeted at individuals as well as companies. There are two plans—Premium and Business.
- $12.00 per month
- For one user only
- Covers all content needed from punctuation to plagiarism, tone, politeness, everything you could want in an online editor.
- $15.00 per person and caters to 3-149 people per team; base monthly is $37.50
- For 3-149 users per account
- Covers all content needed from punctuation to plagiarism, tone, politeness, everything you could want in an online editor
- Also adds team building options and statistics to allow people to improve both as individuals and as a team
Pros and Cons or Grammarly
- The free version offers lots of options for users
- Has an extensive system to achieve goals for users
- Simple to use
- Can import and export files to different programs
- Massive integration across many platforms and writing areas
- Has many options to assist in the writing process
- Subscription-based plan
- It can be inaccurate at times
- It may seem overwhelming at first
- Struggles to recognize the technical language
- Struggles with complex grammar
Is Grammarly Premium Worth It?
If you are serious about writing and improving your writing, the subscription is indeed worth it. It offers more tips to improve your writing and helps you identify more mistakes.
How Much Does Hemingway Editor Cost?
A once-off payment of $19.99
Who Needs a Spelling or Grammar Checker?
- An online business owner looking to improve his/her content on websites to reach a broader audience
- Anyone looking to make writing a career would benefit from a service like this
Does Microsoft Word Have a Grammar Checker?
Yes, Microsoft Word has a built-in grammar checker and recently opened the idea of having external grammar checkers like Grammarly incorporated into their program as an add-on.
How Much Does Grammarly Cost?
Grammarly has a subscription-based system, and they have two plans available. Premium Plan costs $11.66 per month and covers a single user. The Business plan covers a team of 3-149 people at a rate of $12.50 pp.
My recommendation comes down to the functionality of the service. In this case, Grammarly would be my choice of Grammar editor. Let me explain. Grammarly offers integration into other media that I work with, for example, Microsoft Word. Having the Grammarly add-on helps me while I work, making my overall end product cleaner when it comes to the proofreading stage. I spend less time proofreading my work which allows me to get more done. The saying “time is money” is true in this choice.
If I have to pay for a service that helps me get the job done faster, I would personally jump at the chance. The ability to customize my writing and Grammarly’s algorithm of targeting specific audiences based on tone, intent, and formality is mind-blowing.
I get a guide that tells me if my writing is reaching or impacting a particular audience, which builds my confidence and ability to write content. It is like a domino effect—once I know I can target the correct audience, I start getting more confident that I can reach a specific audience, making me want to grow more.
I can see myself improving just by using the free version; I know that the premium would be worth my while in the long run. In the end, it may even end up saving my money. To be honest, Grammarly had me at “choose your target audience;” the rest is a massive bonus.
Grammarly vs Hemingway – Conclusion
Both Hemingway Editor and Grammarly offer a service that is invaluable to writers and online business owners. You must proofread your content and publish your best work on your website. Both services help you with this. However, one difference puts these two services apart, and that is execution.
Hemingway Editor offers user interface simplicity and even informs you at which grade level the audience would need to read your content. The categories are simple to understand and laid out in a user-friendly manner. The price is reasonable for the service and is a one-off payment.
However, Hemingway struggles when compared to a service like Grammarly. Grammarly's free version accomplishes more than Hemingway’s free version and in some respects even beats Hemingway’s paid version. It all comes down to functionality and what each service offers, and Grammarly offers more benefits.
Purely based on analysis, Grammarly is the choice I would go with because I like to customize my service. However, that doesn’t mean that Hemingway is a bad service—it is the opposite of bad service as it offers a lot of revision and learning experiences, especially for a one-off payment.
If you cannot afford the subscription, Hemingway Editor is the way to go. As an online business, we strongly recommend using a service that assists in proofreading. It will only improve the traffic and audience of your websites.
At the end of the day, not everyone is a writer, and there is nothing wrong with that. Using one of these services can give you precise, crisp, and rich content-based writing.